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Reactions of Coordination Compounds

The chemistry of coordination compounds has some additional features compare to simple organic / inorganic compounds, due to complexity in geometries and possibilities for rearrangement. The metal atoms posses more variability in their reactions, and different factors influence the course of reactions. Reactions of coordination complexes can be conveniently divided into: 1. substitution reactions at the metal center, 2. oxidation-reduction reactions, and 3. reactions of the ligands that do not change the attachments to the metal center. Reactions that include more elaborate rearrangements of ligand structures are more often observed in organometallic compounds.

Substitution Reactions at The Metal Center

LABILE vs INERT In terms of kinetic labile is when the compounds reacts rapidly or fast (less than a minute), while inert or robust is when the compounds reacts slowly or slow (more than a minute) STABLE vs UNSTABLE In terms of thermodynamics stable is when the reaction has a large equilibrium constant for formation, unstable is when the reaction has a small equilibrium constant for formation

Why are some configurations inert and some are labile?

Lability are influenced by: 1. d electron configuration of metal ion

Slow Reactions (Inert) d3, low-spin d4, d5, and d6 Strong-field d8 (square planar) Intermediate Weak-field d8 Fast Reactions (Labile) dl, d2, high-spin d4, d5, and d6 d7, d9, d1O.
Inert !


2. Size of central atom

The smaller the central atom (other factors, i.e charge of central atom, being equal), the more tightly the ligands are held and the more inert the complex is. Example: Lability of [Mg(H2O)6]2+ < [Ca(H2O)6]2+ < [Sr(H2O)6]2+.

1. Explain why the reactivity of AlF63-, SiF62-, PF6-, and SF6 with base are decrease respectively ! 2. [M(H2O)6]n+ + H2O
M(III) Cr(III) Fe(III) dn d3 d5

[M(H2O)6]n+ + H2O
V (per second) 7 x 10-6 3 x 103

3. Charge of central atom

The higher the charge (other factors, i.e. ligand, being equal), the more inert the complex. Example: Lability of [Na(H2O)6]+ > [Mg(H2O)6]2+ > [Al(H2O)6]3+.

Explain this data, why ?

Substitution Mechanisms
Intimate mechanisms
Dissociative (D) the departing ligand leaves and an intermediate with a lower coordination number (ML5) is formed Associative (A) the incoming ligand adds to the complex and an intermediate with an increased coordination number (ML5XY) is formed

Between the two extremes is interchange (I), in which the incoming ligand is presumed to assist in the reaction but no detectable intermediates appear.

Stoichiometric mechanisms
Dissociative Interchange (Id) the degree of assistance is small and the reaction is primarily dissociative Associative Interchange (Ia) the incoming ligand begins forming a bond to the central atom before the departing ligand bond is weakened appreciably
Many reactions are described by I, or Id mechanisms rather than by A or D when the kinetic evidence points to association or dissociation but detection of intermediates is not possible.


D Forms intermediate ML5 Ia, Id No intermediate, but activated complexes ML5X --- Y or ML5Y --- X Activated complexes cannot be isolated A Forms intermediate ML6Y
In a dissociative (D) reaction, loss of a ligand to form an intermediate with a lower coordination number is followed by addition of a new ligand to the intermediate:

Intermediate can be isolated

Intermediate can be isolated

X = leaving ligand; Y = entering ligand; L = other ligands that unchanged during reaction

In an interchange (I) reaction, a rapid equilibrium between the incoming ligand and the 6-coordinate reactant forms an ion pair or Ioosely bonded moIecuIar combination. This species, which is not described as having an increased coordination number and is not directly detectable, then reacts to form the product and release the initial ligand.

In an associative reaction, the first step, forming an intermediate with an increased coordination number, is the rate-determining step. It is followed by a faster reaction in which the leaving ligand is lost:


The evidence for dissociative mechanisms can be grouped as follow :

1. The rate of reaction changes only slightly with changes in the incoming ligand. In many cases, aquation (substitution by water) and anation (substitution by an anion) rates are comparable. If dissociation is the rate-determining reaction, the entering group should have no effect at all on the reaction rate. Although there is no specific criterion for this, changes in rate constant of less than a factor of 10 are generally considered to be insignificant for this purpose.

2. Decreasing negative charge or increasing positive charge on the reactant complex decreases the rate of substitution. Larger electrostatic attraction between the positive metal ion and the negative ligand should slow the dissociation. 3. Steric crowding on the reactant complex increases the rate of ligand dissociation. When ligands on the reactant are crowded, loss of one of the ligands is made easier. On the other hand, if the reaction has an A or I, mechanism, steric crowding interferes with the incoming ligand and slows the reaction.

4. The rate of reaction correlates with the metal-ligand bond strength of the leaving group, in a linear free energy relationship (LFER) 5. Activation energies and entropies are consistent with dissociation, although interpretation of these parameters is difficult. Another activation parameter now being measured by experiments at increased pressure is the volume of activation, the change in volume on forming the activated complex. Dissociative mechanisms generally result in positive values for Avact because one species splits into two, and associative mechanisms result in negative Avact values because two species combine into one, with a presumed volume smaller than the total for the reactants. However, caution is needed in interpreting volume effects because solvation effects, particularly for highly charged ions, may be larger than the difference expected for the reaction otherwise.

Determining the D or A Mechanisms

1. Entering Ligand (Yn-), by varying the Yn-: If Kobs also varied significantly A If Kobs does not varied significantly D Example: Anation or water exhange of [ Co(NH3)5(H2O)]3+ at 45 C
Y H2O N3SO42ClNCSKobs (1/detik) 100 x 10-6 100 x 10-6 24 x 10-6 21 x 10-6 16 x 10-6


2. Leaving Ligand (Xn-), by varying the Xn-: If Kobs also varied significantly D If Kobs does not varied significantly A Example: Aquation of [ Co(NH3)5(X)]n+ at 25 C
XnOP(OCH3)3 NO3IFN3NCSKobs (1/ detik) 2,5 x 10-4 2,7 x 10-5 8,3 x 10-6 8,6 x 10-8 2,1 x 10-9 5,0 x 10-10

3. Sterical of the Ligand, by increasing the sterical effect: D If Kobs increased A If Kobs decreased Example: Aquation of trans-[ Co(N-N) 2Cl2]+


Kobs [1/detik]

NH2CH 2CH2NH2 3,2 x 10-2


6,5 x 10-2



6,6 x 10-4

spontan (cepat sekali)

Substitution Reaction of Square Planar Complexes

The products of substitution reactions of square planar complexes [platinum(II) complexes are the primary examples] have the same configuration as the reactants, with direct replacement of the departing ligand by the new ligand. The rates vary enormously and different compounds can be formed, depending both on the entering and the leaving ligands.

Kinetics and Stereochemistry of Square Planar Substitutions

Square-planar substitution reactions frequently show two term rate laws, of the form : Rate = kl[Complex] + k2[Complex][Y] where: [Y] is concentration of the incoming ligand Both pathways (both terms in the rate law) are considered to be associative, in spite of the difference in order.


The k2 term easily fits an associative mechanism in which the incoming ligand Y and the reacting complex form a 5coordinate transition state. The accepted explanation for the k1 term is a solventassisted reaction, with solvent replacing X on the complex through a similar 5-coordinate transition state, and then itself being replaced by Y. The second step of this mechanism is presumed to be faster than the first, and the concentration of solvent is large and unchanging, so the overall rate law for this path is first order in complex.

It is generally accepted that reactions of square-planar compounds are associative, although there is doubt about the degree of association, and they are classified as la.

The incoming ligand approaches along the z axis. As it bonds to the Pt, the complex rearranges to approximate a trigonal bipyramid with Pt, T, X, and Y in the trigonal plane. As X leaves, Y moves down into the plane of T, Pt, and the two L ligands.

This same general description will fit whether - the incoming ligand bonds strongly to Pt before the departing ligand bond is weakened appreciably (la) or - the departing ligand bond is weakened considerably before the incoming ligand forms its bond (Id).

This mechanism explains naturally the effect of the incoming ligand. A strong Lewis base is likely to react readily, but the hard-soft nature of the base has an even larger effect. Pt(II) is generally a soft acid, so soft ligands react more readily with it. The order of ligand reactivity depends somewhat on the other ligands on the Pt, but the order for the reaction : trans-PtL2Cl2 + Y trans-PtL2ClY + Cl-

The solvent-assisted mechanism follows the same pattern but requires two associative steps for completion.

for different Y in methanol was found to be as follows : PR3 > CN- > SCN- >> Br- > N3- > NO2- > py > NH3 Cl- > CH3OH


Reactants with ligands other than chloride as T is found in a similar order, with some shuffling of the center of the list. The ratio of the rate constants for the extremes in the list is very large, with k(PPh3)/k(CH3OH) = 9 x 108. Because T and Y have similar positions in the transition state, it is reasonable for them to have similar effects on the rate, and they do. By the same argument, the leaving group X should also have a significant influence on the rate, and it does. The order of ligands is nearly the reverse of that given above, with hard ligands such as Cl-, NH3, and NO3- leaving quickly, while soft ligands with considerable bonding such as CN- and NO2leave reluctantly.

[Pt(dien)X+] + py [Pt(dien)(py)]2+ + XThe rate increases by a factor of 105 with H2O as compared with X = CN- or NO2- as the leaving group. The bondstrengthening effect of the metal-to-ligand bonding reduces the reactivity of these ligands significantly. In addition, bonding to the leaving group uses the same orbitals as those bonding to the entering group in the trigonal plane. These two effects result in the slow displacement of metal-toligand- bonding ligands when compared with ligands with only bonding or ligand-to-metal bonding.

Good leaving groups (those that leave easily) show little discrimination between entering groups. Apparently, the ease of breaking the Pt X bond takes precedence over the formation of the Pt Y bond. On the other hand, for complexes with less reactive leaving groups, the other ligands have a significant role; the softer PEt3 and AsEt3 ligands show a large selective effect when compared with the harder dien or en ligands.

The Trans Effect

In 1926, Chernyaev introduced the concept of the trans effect in platinum chemistry. In reactions of square-planar Pt(II) compounds, ligands trans to chloride are more easily replaced than those trans to ligands such as ammonia; chloride is said to have a stronger trans effect than ammonia. When coupled with the fact that chloride itself is more easily replaced than ammonia, this trans effect allows the formation of isomeric Pt compounds.


In reaction (a), after the first ammonia is replaced, the second replacement is trans to the first CI-. In reaction (b), the second replacement is trans to Cl- (replacement of ammonia in the second reaction is possible, but then the reactant and product are identical).

The first steps in reactions (c) through (f) are the possible replacements, with nearly equal probabilities for replacement of NH3 or py in any position. The second steps of (c) through (f) depend on the trans effect of Cl-. Both steps of (g) and (h) depend on the greater lability of Cl-.

By using reactions such as these, it is possible to prepare specific isomers with different ligands.

Chernyaev and coworkers did much of this, preparing a wide variety of compounds and establishing the order of trans effect ligands: CN- CO C2H4 > PH3 SH2 > NO2- > I- > Br- > Cl- > NH3 py > OH- > H2O

Sigma-bonding effects Two factors dominate the explanations of the trans effect, weakening of the Pt X bond and stabilization of the presumed 5-coordinate transition state. The energy relationships are given in figure below, with the activation energy the difference between the reactant ground state and the first transition state. (a) Poor trans effect, low ground state, high transition state. (b) -Bonding effect, higher ground state (trans influence). (c) -Bonding effect, lower transition state (trans effect).


This ground state effect is sometimes called the trans influence and applies primarily to the leaving group. It is a thermodynamic effect, contributing to the overall kinetic result by changing the reactant ground state. The Pt X bond is influenced by the Pt T bond, because both use the Pt p(x), and d(x2-y2)orbitals. When the Pt T -bond is strong, it uses a larger part of these orbitals and leaves less for the Pt X bond. As a result, the PtX bond is weaker and its ground state ( -bonding orbital) is higher in energy, leading to a smaller activation energy for the breaking of this bond [figure b].

This part of the explanation predicts the order for the trans effect based on the relative -donor properties of the ligands: H- > PR3 > SCN- > I- CH3- CO CN- > Br- > Cl- > NH3 > OHThe order given here is not quite correct for the trans effect, particularly for CO and CN-, which have strong trans effects.

Pi-bonding effects The additional factor needed is bonding in the Pt T bond. When the T ligand forms a strong -acceptor bond with Pt, charge is removed from Pt and the entrance of another ligand to form a 5-coordinate species is more likely. In addition to the charge effect, the d(x2-y2) orbital, which is involved in bonding in the square-planar geometry, and both the dxz and dyz orbitals can contribute to bonding in the trigonalbipyramidal transition state. Here, the effect on the ground state of the reactant is small, but the energy of the transition state is lowered, again reducing the activation energy [figure c]. The order of acceptor ability of the ligands is :

The expanded overall trans effect list is then the result of the combination of the two effects: CO CN- C2H4 > PR3 H- NO > CH3- SC(NH2)2 > C6H5- > NO2- SCN- I- > Br- > Cl- > py, NH3 RH2 > OH- > H2O Ligands highest in the series are strong acceptors, followed by strong -donors. Ligands at the low end of the series have neither strong donor nor -acceptor abilities. The trans effect can be very large; rates may differ as much as 106 between complexes with strong trans effect ligands and those with weak trans effect ligands.

C2H4 CO > CN- > NO2- > SCN > I- > Br- > Cl- > NH3 > OH-


Explanations for the trans-effect (in summary)

trans-Influence = ground state effect where the strong TPt sigma bond using the px and d(x2-y2) orbitals prevents the trans leaving group PtX bond from being strong. The weak bond makes PtX has a high energy ground state The Ea required to get X to leave is small Does not quite give the correct trans-effect ligand ordering Strong -acceptors remove e- from Pt making association with Y more likely This interaction from TPt lowers the energy of the 5-coord. intermediate Ea is lowered and the PtX bond is more easily broken d(x2-y2), dxz, and dyz can all -bond in the trigonal bipyramidal transition state












Gambarkan dan jelaskan mekanisme reaksi dua tahap pembentukan senyawa kompleks isomerik cis- dan trans[PtCl2(NO2)(NH3)]- dari senyawa [PtCl4]-2, apabila diketahui urutan efek trans ligan adalah sbb: NH3 < Cl- < NO2- !! It is possible to prepare different isomers of Pt(II) complexes with four different ligands. Predict the products expected if 1 mole of [PtCl4]2- is reacted successively with the following reagent (e.g., the product of reaction a is used in reaction b): a. 2 moles of ammonia b. 2 moles of pyridine c. 2 moles of chloride d. 1 mole of nitrite, NO2-

60 minutes assignments!!
1) Explain by definition in brief, the three different reactions that commonly occurred in coordination compounds! (25 points) 2) Explain the role of HSAB principle of leaving (Y) and incoming ligands (X) toward the rate of substitution reaction in Pt(II) complexes! (20 points) 3) Identity which of the following complexes is more labile and explain the data! (15 points each) a. Cr(H2O)6+2 vs Cr(CN)64- (Ar Cr = 24) b. Fe(H2O)6+2 vs Fe(CN)64- (Ar Fe = 26) 4) There are two isomers of [PtCl2 (NH3)2], which is A and B. When A is treated with thiourea (tu), [Pt(tu)4]+2 is formed. When B is treated with thiourea (tu), [Pt(NH3)2(tu)2]+2 is formed. Identity the isomers (A and B) and explain the data! (25 points)



Oxidation Reduction Reactions

Basic of redox reactions
Oxidation = loss of electrons; metal ion becomes more positively charged Reduction = gain of electrons; metal ion becomes less positively charged Countless biological and industrial processes use metal ions to carry out redox Photosynthesis, destruction of toxins, etc

Outer Sphere Electron Transfer Mechanism

Example: Co(NH3) 63+ + Cr(bipy)32+ Co(NH3)62+ + Cr(bipy)33+ oxidant reductant reduced oxidized

There are two mechanisms:

Outer Sphere Electron Transfer Mechanism electron transfer with no change of coordination sphere Inner Sphere Electron Transfer Mechanism tunneling of an electron through a bridging ligand

The rates of reaction depend on the ability of the electron to tunnel through the ligands from one metal to the other.

Tunneling = moving through an energy barrier (the ligands) that is normally too high to allow the electron to pass through. This is a quantum mechanical process having to do with the wave nature of e-. Ligands with p or orbitals good for bonding more easily allow tunnelling (CN-, F-) than those that do not (NH3).

The ligands do not change in Outer Sphere electron transfer, but the ML bond distances do High Oxidation short bond distance Low Oxidation longer bond distance The stronger the ligand field, the less favored reduction is (or more favored oxidation is), because more energy is gained by losing high energy eg* electrons (NH3 > H2O)

Co(NH3)63+ + eCo(H2O)63+ + e-

Co(NH3)62+ Co(H2O)62+

E0 = +0.108 V E0 = +1.108 V



Inner Sphere Electron Transfer Mechanism

Substitution links the reactants e- transfer Separation of products

Choosing Mechanisms
1. Very inert metal ions substitute too slowly to allow bridging, i.e. [Ru(NH3)6]3+ 2. Ligands that are able to bridge are required for the inner sphere mechanism 3. Most metals can undergo both types of reactions, innersphere is more likely if the metal is very labile (Cr2+) 4. Comparison with experimental data of known reactions helps decide 5. Reducible ligands speed up inner sphere reactions

This reaction could be followed by ion exchange and UV-Vis.

Reactions of Ligands
Reducible ligands speed up inner sphere reactions


Organic Chemistry often does reactions on complexed ligands Example: Friedel-Crafts Electrophilic Substitution




The Lewis Acid nature of the metal ion creates positively charged carbon atoms to react with aromatic rings



Organic and Biological Hydrolysis Reactions Hydrolysis = breaking of CO or CN bonds in carboxylic acids and amides (proteins) or the PO bond in phosphate esters (DNA) Coordination of the reacting biopolymer to the metal activates the bond to be cleaved by the Lewis Acid nature of the metal ion The reaction can proceed with either bound or free OH- in basic conditions

Template Reactions
Template: organizes an assembly of atoms, with respect to one or more geometric loci to achieve a particular linking of atoms Anchor = organizing entity around which the template complex takes shape, due to geometric requirements. This is often a metal ion. Turn = Flexible entity in need of geometric organization before the desired linking can occur
2+ NH NH2 NiCl2 NH NH2 H2O Ni NH NH2 O H H2O O H

Metal complexes make good templates because many metal ions have strict geometric requirements, and they can often be removed easily after the reaction.